Budi graduates from baby school to forest school!
Budi was found lying flat on his back, sick and helpless, in a chicken cage in December 2014. He was in an extremely critical condition after being kept as a pet and fed on nothing but condensed milk for ten months. His body was bloated and his limbs were swollen and bent from malnutrition. At about 14 months old Budi should have been strong enough to climb and swing in the trees: instead he was as helpless as a new-born baby.
After two years undergoing rehabilitation at our centre, Budi has made such good progress that he has graduated from baby school and entered forest school! This is a real step up for infant orangutans at the centre who have to display specific behaviours and a certain level of independence before they are deemed ready to move to on to the next stage of their journey towards eventual release back into the wild.
The young orangutans in Baby School are kept under close observation by their babysitters and it gradually became apparent that Budi was becoming something of a star pupil. The first indication that he would soon be ready for Forest School came when he refused to leave the forest and return to his night den at the end of the day. This was an encouraging sign of Budi’s growing independence and so he was allowed to stay out overnight and sleep in the forested enclosure.
His babysitters report that Budi is now perfectly at ease in the presence of other orangutans. He is not intimidated or bullied by them. He is at home in the forest and is always eager to explore. He loves spending time up in the trees, watching everything going on below him.
Heribertus Suciadi, a member of IAR’s team in Ketapang, observed: “Every time we give Budi enrichment, he gets really excited about it. He'll forget everything but the enrichment. He is also not dependent on humans anymore, which means that he is now really confident. He has started building nests by himself and no longer shows any desire to share with his friends. Budi is a real adventurer!”
It is amazing to see an orangutan that was literally at death’s door when we found him now looking so healthy and strong and really enjoying life. It is thanks to you, our supporters, for giving him this second chance.
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